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Red was my second, pound pig, and is a bit of a special case, in several ways. Red has had a very hard life, and I like to think he has found a good home here. Red was picked up at the Milwaukee Humane Society, as a companion for Gipper, after the death of Chewy. Red's whole story seems to be of bad luck, and a hard life. Red and Gipper, started out getting along very well; but for some reason this changed. The two had two be kept separate by a divider in the cage. They could see each other, and were thus prevented from being lonely, and they did always seem to hang around the same part of the cage, to be near each other; but they did not like to play together, when I let them in the hall, and they would not cuddle together, in a towel or blanket. Too bad, really too bad.
According to the pound, Red was about two years old, when I got him. His exact date of birth is unknown for certain, because the people who owned him did not care enough to bother to remember it. He was bought as a pet, for a little girl, who absolutely fell in love with him, at the pet store. Sadly, after a few weeks, the bloom was off the rose, and she soon tired of her little pig. For two long, lonely years, Red sat ignored in a little cage. Even the simple chores of feeding watering and cleaning the cage became troublesome, and the once cute and beloved little pig came to be little more than a tiresome obligation to be bothered with. Finally, the parents did the right thing, and gave him up to the Humane Society.
According to the Humane Society, Red was never abused, merely ignored: but I am not so sure. Red was extremely nervous, and quite timid around people, when I first got him. He always ran and hid, when I attempted to pick him up, though like most pigs, he is quite happy and content, once I start to rub him behind the ears. He would often jump straight in the air, when a human passed his cage, and Even kicked at my hands, when I first picked him up. Red is the only pig I have ever owned, who has bitten me, something he has done twice. There is a notch in his right ear, and I was told that he lived with no other pigs. I must assume that either human teeth or nail clippers were used. Poor Red. So he has earned a bit of slack. Even here though, his bad luck held, almost to the end of him.
After Chewy died, I knew I needed a companion for Gipper. I wanted another long haired pig, because that's what Chewy had been. I checked the local pound, and found nothing, so I went on-line, and checked the Milwaukee Humane Society web site. While there, I spotted Red. He was the only male long hair, I could find. I didn't want to let Gipper be alone too long, so on my first day off of work, I checked the web site, noting that he was still there, and then went down to get my red guy. When I went there, they advised me that Red was gone - he was no longer on the adoption list. There, were however, a pair of very young pigs, brothers, who had been recently brought in, and had not been on the site. So I looked them over, handled them a bit, and picked the one that seemed to be the nicest, and friendliest. I would have loved to have taken them both; but I prefer to make a good home for a pair of pigs, rather than act as a shelter for a larger number. They took my new little buddy with them, and went to fill out some papers, while I wandered around in the display room, and looked at the other animals. While I was looking around, I noticed an empty cage with no label, that was not empty after all. A pair of eyes peeked out at me, from inside of a little plastic bungalow. It was Red - the pig I had come for.
Because he was an older pig, and had already been there for a while, he had just been taken off of the web site and the list of adoptable animals. The label had been removed from his cage. I can only assume that he was soon to be taken to that place from which no animal ever returns alive. I had arrived just at that period after the decision had been made, but before the act had been carried out. As soon as I saw him, and realized, I got the counselor, who had been filling out my papers, and told her that this was the pig I had come for. She seemed very happy, and immediately agreed to the change. She then advised me not to worry. The young pigs always got adopted, and quickly. The little pig that I had almost taken, would certainly be adopted that day. I hope that some kind soul took him and his brother both.
It was a rather fortuitous meeting for Red. I have been working with him, trying to get him to be a bit more trusting and happy. He is generally a pretty sweet little pig, and after a year is no longer nervous. Interestingly, after Gipper died, Red seemed actually to miss him. The two of them had been getting along better, and were usually right by each other, just at the cage divider. From time to time, I would let them romp in my long hallway, and they seemed quite a bit less aggressive, than had been the case when I first decided to separate them. He was also quite a bit less shy with me, perhaps out of loneliness.
Red is an Abyssinian, so he has fairly long hair, which sticks out and swirls in a number of directions. He is quite handsome, and quite large, so I call him Big Red. The name seems to fit him pretty well, and is the name given him by his previous owners, so I kept it. Red is healthy, a bit fat, and quite content. He is no longer timid around humans, particularly when the carrot bag comes out, or the lettuce box. Red squeaks, and does his little dance, when treats are being offered. He actually gets along quite well with Arnold, and the two of them seem to particularly like to curl up against each other in a towel on my sofa, or on top of my desk when I write.